CTO News

Archive for 2015

Statement by the Caribbean Tourism Organization on the Paris agreement on climate change

(BRIDGETOWN, Barbados) 12 Dec 2015 The Caribbean region is experiencing the impact of the ravaging effects of climate change. Sea level rise, frequent and intense natural hazards; extended dry seasons resulting in water scarcity, loss of livelihoods and the disappearance of some of our islands are among the present-day dangers that we face.

The tourism sector and the environment are inextricably linked and environmentally responsible tourism is paramount to the sector’s sustainability and overall success.   Tourism must be stewarded and balanced so that the benefits for the environment, the communities it serves, its employees and the economy outweigh the costs. Our commitment to the climate cause is one way to do this.

The Conference of Parties 21 *(COP21) came to a close at the end of last week and the Caribbean’s position was clear.  Caribbean governments and regional agencies joined in one voice to shout their message of ‘1.5 to stay alive’ which urged global partners to support a call to limit warming to below 1.5C – a critical call on which our survival depends!  The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) also endorsed this call!

Many are touting COP21 a success.  The outcome, called the Paris Agreement, has been adopted by 195 nations, and for the first time brings all nations into a common cause based on their historic, current and future responsibilities. This is a huge achievement for the Caribbean.

The universal agreement’s main aim is to keep a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

This new agreement offers hope.  As many of CTO’s members are Small Island Developing States (SIDS), we remain optimistic that the tremendous strides made in Paris will help to ensure that this issue continues to occupy a prominent position on the global agenda.  Let us all do our part to support the outcomes in Paris in any way we can.

Please view the video below, which has also been placed on onecaribbean.org, to remind you about the importance of this topic to the Caribbean.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ak7cVJ9SXbk&feature=youtu.be

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Airlift into Antigua and Barbuda increases with addition of Seaborne Airlines

St. John’s, Antigua (December 13, 2015) – Plans made by Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Officials to welcome more flights from more airlines and tour operators around the world, upon completion of one of the largest and most modern airports in the Eastern Caribbean have rapidly taken off.

The Antigua and Barbuda Minister of Tourism, the Hon. Asot Michael, and Tourism Officials, welcomed a fourth airline into the destination, just three months after the opening of the new terminal at the V.C. Bird International Airport.

Seaborne Airlines launched its non-stop service between their hub in San Juan’s Luis Munoz Marin International Airport and Antigua on Sunday December 13, with a 34 seat Saab 340 aircraft.  The inaugural flight departed San Juan at 12:45 pm, and arrived into Antigua at 2:20 pm.

Seaborne Airline Officials, Mr. Hector Montanez – Director of Business Development & Marketing, Mr. Fernando Vazquez – Director of Airports, and Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Officials, Mrs. Paula Frederick-Hunte  – Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Investment, Economic Development & Energy, and Ms. Shirlene Nibbs – Tourism Consultant for the Tourism Ministry were onboard the flight.

In welcoming the new carrier, Minister of Tourism, the Hon. Asot Michael called Seaborne Airlines, “the largest regional operator in the Caribbean.”

“The entrance of Seaborne, provides passengers with one additional option for travelling to Antigua and Barbuda, quicker and more conveniently.

“As a regional hub, the more modern V.C. Bird International Airport, was extremely appealing and advantageous to Seaborne as they seek to expand their services throughout the wider Caribbean.”

Commenting on the inaugurals held to date, the Minister said, “Our mandate is to grow airlift and to enhance our existing strategic positioning.”

“JetBlue’s launch into Antigua and Barbuda earlier in December, and today’s arrival of Seaborne, is especially significant, due to the codeshare agreement signed between the two airlines in October. What this codeshare means to the everyday traveler is that they will be able to travel from JetBlue serviced territories in the United States, to Antigua seamlessly, with one ticket, one check-in and reliable baggage transfer.”

Seaborne’s partnership with JetBlue Airways, as well as Air Europa, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, and United Airlines, means that, the airline can provide connections for passengers from thirty-three other destinations in the Americas as well as in Europe, into Antigua and Barbuda.

“We are excited to introduce Antigua as the 17th airport served by Seaborne Airlines; the fastest growing airline in the Caribbean,” said Seaborne CEO and President Gary Foss.

“I am confident that our customers throughout the region will benefit from Seaborne’s unmatched customer service commitment, low fares and connectivity to our airline partners.”

Flights from Antigua to San Juan depart at 3:05 pm and arrive at 4:40 pm.

V.C. Bird International Airport’s growing portfolio of passenger airlines maintains Antigua and Barbuda’s position as a major hub in the Eastern Caribbean.

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Curaçao launches online Embarkation and Disembarkation card (ED-card)

WILLEMSTAD – December 7, 2015 – On Monday, December 7th the Curaçao Tourist Board together with the Immigration Department of Curaçao launched the online version of the Embarkation and Disembarkation card (ED-card). Completing the form digitally has two main goals namely a fast and efficient process at the immigration line and immediate processing of the visitor’s data.

All foreign visitors arriving in Curaçao are required to have a completed ED-card for immigration clearance. At the moment travelers can obtain the ED-card on board of the flights arriving to Curaçao. This card contains personal information, such as name and birth date, port of embarkation, home address, purpose of visit, the reason for choosing Curaçao, how reservation was made, duration of visit and the chosen accommodation during stay. The Online ED-card can be completed in the comfort of your home before even embarking your flight to Curaçao. By introducing the Online ED-card the amount of time spent in the immigration line will be considerably reduced. The Online ED-card will be in sync with the Border Management System of the Immigration Department in Curaçao.

How to access the online ED-card
Go to the website of the Curaçao Tourist Board, www.curacao.com click on the tab ‘Online ED-card’.

Completing the ED-card
After booking your flight complete the form by filling out all required fields. Form must be completed 24 hours before departing to Curaçao. After completing the form submit the form by clicking on the ‘save’ button. You will receive an email back confirming your online registration. Bring a printout or show it on your mobile device. This confirmation does not guarantee admission to Curaçao. A border control officer at the port of entry will have the final determination. Upon arrival, the immigration officer will scan your passport and will be notified that your card has been processed online in the secured Border Management System.

Clearing Immigration
At arrival, present your travel documents (valid passport) to the immigration officer at the immigration counter. The immigration officer will match your passport with your completed online ED-card in the system.

Please note that the current ED-card will be still available for guests who prefer to fill out the form during their flight to Curaçao.

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Antigua and Barbuda boast lowest airfares to the Caribbean with flights starting from $280 round-trip

New York, NY (December 11, 2015) – The twin islands of Antigua and Barbuda are experiencing record low airfares to the destination during the busiest time of the season, where travelers across the New York Tristate area are eager to escape the blistery winters. Travelers can now find inexpensive fares to Antigua and Barbuda for as low as $280 round-trip including taxes and fees on United, American Airlines and JetBlue from both New York (JFK) and Newark (EWR). JetBlue’s entry-level $280 fare will be available through to March 2016. These enticingly low fares with short flight times of less than four hours make Antigua and Barbuda an ideal Winter getaway; making travel to this Caribbean paradise easy and seamless.

Historically known as one of the less affordable Caribbean destinations to get to, this shift in price is expected to increase visitor arrivals to Antigua and Barbuda as consumers will be getting more added value for their money which should in turn increase visitor on-island spend. Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Ms. Marie Walker is excited about the positive results this will bring to the destination, “These inexpensive fares are fantastic news for Antigua and Barbuda and is sure to increase our competitiveness in the US market where consumers are so much more savvy than in the past. Research shows people are often looking for the best deals when planning a vacation, and you can’t beat $280 for a quick flight to get you directly to the paradise of Antigua and Barbuda. Very shortly, those along the Eastern seaboard will be desperately looking for an escape from the cold weather and short days, and we are confident the combination of cerulean waters, 365 different pristine white and pink sand beaches, wonderful gastronomy and inexpensive flights will entice many more visitors to discover the wonder that is Antigua and Barbuda this season,” says Ms. Walker.

The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority in tandem with the Antigua and Barbuda Ministry of Tourism plans to continue building on this momentum and is striving to increase airlift to the twin islands from across the North American Market. The destination only just yesterday launched its new Seaborne Airlines service out of San Juan, Puerto Rico to Antigua’s VC Bird International Airport that offers as a perfect connector with codeshare partners JetBlue who are the largest carriers in to San Juan as well as the world’s largest carrier, American Airlines.

The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority North America office has been aggressively promoting the destination with a strategic digital and print ad campaign with several notable publications to include, the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Brides.com and Budget Travel coupled with a tactical relentless road show calendar geared towards targeting specific markets in the Northeast, South and Midwest territories as well as Canada.

To discover why Antigua and Barbuda is the ‘gem’ of the Caribbean, topping travel lists every year, and book your winter getaway, contact your preferred travel agent or visit your preferred online booking platform, or airline websites, aa.com, united.com, jetblue.com for flight and airfare availability.

For information about Antigua & Barbuda visit www.visitantiguabarbuda.com or www.antiguabarbudabuzz.com and follow us on Twitter. http://twitter.com/antiguabarbuda  Facebook www.facebook.com/antiguabarbuda; Instagram:www.instagram.com/AntiguaandBarbuda

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Barbados named Destination of the Year by Caribbean Journal

NEW YORK (December 2, 2015) – Barbados wins big in 2015 with the recognition of the island as ‘Destination of the Year’ 2015 and acknowledgment for the opening of its newest resort, Sandals Barbados, dubbed  the ‘New All-Inclusive Resort of the Year’ by Caribbean Journal in their coveted Caribbean Travel Awards.  Based on the efforts demonstrated by the tourism sector and marketing reach made throughout the year, the Caribbean Travel Awards highlight the “Best of 2015” for readers of Caribbean Journal with followers that span over 60,000 readers a month in the Americas and internationally.

“We are honored to be named Caribbean Journal’s “Destination of the Year,” acknowledged the Honorable Richard Sealy, Minister of Tourism and International Transport. “This accolade is sincerely appreciated and we see this as manifestation of our efforts to improve the destination product. I salute all the stakeholders whose dedication has contributed significantly to this recognition. Barbados has benefited with the recent increase in airlift options for travelers from all markets and we fully intend to continue the positive trajectory of growth as we move into 2016.”

“It is great to see Caribbean destinations using cutting edge marketing and creativity to draw new travelers,” stated Alexander Britell, Editor in Chief of Caribbean Journal. “Barbados has had a tremendous year in that regard and our team of Caribbean experts is proud to honor them for that achievement.”

This honor comes at a historic moment for Barbados, celebrating its 50th anniversary of independence this 2016. With the addition of new JetBlue routes from the Boston market and Mint service for the luxury set, the island continues to strengthen its connection to travelers in the US market. Offering a colorful and culturally driven variety of events and activities for every niche, consumers continue to view the destination as the ultimate in sun, sand and sea.

For a complete list of all the awards from the initial Caribbean Journal Caribbean Travel Awards, please visit www.caribjournal.com.

 

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Bahamas Geotourism Website launched

Nassau, The Bahamas, November 17, 2015 — Small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) in The Bahamas now have access to over 50 million potential customers thanks to an innovative website that maximizes the country’s geotourism potential.

The National Geographic Bahamas Geotourism Website was formed through a partnership among the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, National Geographic, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDA). The aim of the website is to boost the Family Islands’ tourism potential by acting as a driver of overall SME development. The website is the first of its kind in the region.

It provides an interactive map of geo-touristic sites and supporting businesses across The Bahamas and offers comprehensive information on natural, cultural and historic attractions for various destinations.

Information on the website includes accommodations, action opportunities, community, festivals and events, food and drinks, health and wellness, historic or prehistoric sites, local points of interest, museums, theatres, interpretive centers, natural areas, outdoor adventure and packaged experiences.

Minister of Tourism the Hon. Obie Wilchcombe said this initiative shows that The Bahamas is continuing to find innovative ways to draw people. “Technology allows the world to see The Bahamas with limited costs and in real time,” he said during a special launch ceremony at The Island House. “This is so important to what we are seeking to do. We must give strength to these islands. You have made a giant step for us and we want to tell you this is what partnerships are all about – seeking to do the best in the best interest of all.”

Director General of the Ministry of Tourism Joy Jibrilu said she expects that the website will draw attention to ecotourism and cultural tourism that so many islands in The Bahamas are known for. “This project really shines the light on many of the things that make The Bahamas unique among the island destinations of the Caribbean. And so, I would like to thank the National Geographic Society and Complete Caribbean for partnering with us and implementing this project as well as the Inter-American Development Bank, United Kingdom Department of International Development and the Government of Canada for funding the project,” she said.

To view the website visit www.bahamasgeotourism.com.

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Dominica ranked 3rd in top 10 Best Caribbean Destinations for Adventure

Roseau, Dominica (November 16, 2015) Dominica ranked number three for Best Caribbean Destination for Adventure  in USA Today’s 10Best Reader’s Choice Awards.

Readers of 10Best.com and USA Today were asked to vote for the Best in select travel and leisure related categories ranging from food, lodging, destinations, travel, gear and things to do.  10Best.com travel experts selected the top 20 nominees and readers voted for the top ten finalists.  Voting took place over a three week period which ended on November 9, 2015.

The final results were announced last week on http://www.10best.com/awards/travel/view-all-winners/.

Director of Tourism, Colin Piper states, “This is a great accolade for Dominica as it raises awareness of the destination and what is has to offer to a wide audience of potential visitors. It is truly a great achievement to be ranked in the top three Caribbean Adventure Destinations by USA Today’s 10Best Reader’s Choice. ”

For more information on Dominica, contact Discover Dominica Authority at 767 448 2045. Or, visit Dominica’s official website: www.DiscoverDominica.com, follow Dominica on Twitter and Facebook and take a look at our videos on YouTube.

About Dominica: Dominica (pronounced Dom-in-EEK-a, and not to be confused with the Dominican Republic) is a haven for adventure travelers seeking a unique vacation that includes: hiking and adventure, cultural events/festivals, diving and water sports, whale/dolphin watching and canyoning adventures. Dominica lies south of Guadeloupe and north of Martinique in the Eastern Caribbean. Air travelers can connect to Dominica on Air Antilles, Air Sunshine, Caribbean Helicopters, Coastal Air Transport, Hummingbird Air, LIAT, Seaborne Airlines, or WINAIR from the surrounding hubs of Antigua, Barbados, Guadeloupe, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, and U.S. Virgin Islands.  If travelling by sea, travelers can connect to Dominica on L’Express Des Iles ferry service from Guadeloupe, Martinique, and St. Lucia.

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